We’re without doubt living in a quantified self age, with people increasingly using a range of web and mobile based tools to measure and monitor various facets of their life. Whether it’s how much exercise you take, calorie consumption or sleep quality, there are typically tools to help you.
Sleep quality should be of particular interest to managers, and indeed anyone else interested in workplace productivity. A University of California, Berkeley study for instance found that an afternoon nap significantly improves brain power. The same team then performed a follow up study into the affects of sleep on workplace performance.
Half of participants were permitted to take a 90 minute nap after they had completed an initial task, before completing a second task later on in the day. The remaining half worked straight through un-rested. They found that the well rested participants were much more disposed towards happy feelings than their hard working peers. The rest had made them very much glass half-full types.
Anyway, there are lots of studies out there suggesting the benefits of being well rested at work. So it’s interesting therefore to see the whole quantified self movement coming to the workplace. A new tool called Vigo is currently looking for funding on KickStarter. It’s a wearable sensor that apparently detects drowsiness, whilst also offering real time data on the alertness of its wearer, thus boosting productivity.
The device itself isn’t as conspicuous as many of the sleep monitors on the market (I’m looking at you Zeo), and compares favourably to a Bluetooth hands free headset. The device monitors the blinking patterns of the user, which it then uses to determine alertness. This data is then transmitted to the app that accompanies the device, with customisable notifications available so you can be told when you’re getting excessively drowsy.
The KickStarter campaign is running until February 1st, with backers able to buy the device for a reduced fee of $79 (compared to the expected retail price of $119). Could we see a future where employees take to wearing such devices? Might there even be a time when managers have access to the readings of their team?
Check out the promo video below and let me know your thoughts in the comments.